Lipi Roy, Crew 288 Journalist
Sol 01? Or in-transit?
12 Noon @ Upper Deck – The crew is eagerly waiting to ‘arrive on Mars’, when we get the message from our commander, Cesare, that an unfortunate situation has occurred! A rescue mission will have to be executed, even before we begin sim!
The day started at 7:30 AM, as the crew woke up to a hearty Apollo-13 theme song played by our commander. After our first night, we realized Cesare wasn’t kidding when he said that the staterooms got really hot! In any case, I will try out Riley’s hack of keeping the door slightly ajar to let the cool air in.
For breakfast, Jesus prepared a delicious assortment of fried potatoes and eggs, which we all enjoyed with hot sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese (We have apparently concluded that parmesan cheese can be topped over anything). With our stomachs filled, we dressed up in our flight suits (for the first time, yay!) to say ‘thank you’ to our sponsors. Umm, 17 sponsors didn’t feel so good when we had to take the same picture those many times! (Just kidding, we love you, our sponsors! Thank you for making this happen for us!)
Following the photoshoot, we went to explore the nearby hill, except Cesare who stayed back to test the drone. Little did we know that a simple drone test could result in a 4-hour long rescue mission!
As we got back from our 15-minute exploration, Cesare informed us that he had lost communication with the drone, and it did not automatically come back as he expected it to. So, he had to go with Sergii, up to somewhere west of Amazonia Planitia to bring back the drone. Everything was still on schedule, as planned, up till then. Until, at about noon, we realized our day would be very different from what we expected it to be. We were informed that while bringing back the drone, the Hab-car was heavily stuck in a ditch! Sergii and Cesare had to walk for 45 minutes, all the way back to the Hab to bring back help. Together with Sergii’s tools and added experience of Crew Engineer and GHO turned rescuers, our crew showed exemplary teamwork and problem-solving skills as they got the car out of the ditch!
As thrilled as everyone was to achieve this, it was already past 3 PM when they returned, and this meant we still couldn’t arrive on Mars today. I like to call this day ‘in-transit’. We still have tomorrow! The day paced slower after that, mostly with me and Jilian (HSO) helping Ryan (GHO) in the Green Hab. It was a wonderful (and a first for me) experience to harvest microgreens. We got a few grams each of kale, cilantro, red cabbage, arugula, and parsley which will probably be a part of much-awaited tomorrow’s meal.
In the evening, we enjoy a wonderful stew cooked by Hunter (Crew Geologist) and the sight of baby Yoda as we decide which movie to watch tonight. Stay tuned for our adventures as we finally enter simulation tomorrow!